Senior citizens are vital members of any community since they augment the workforce, raise families, and volunteer extensively. However, their efficiency is often impeded by numerous factors, including deteriorating mental health. This problem is worrying because, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15% of older adults (60 years and over) have a mental disorder. For that reason, adult mental health care is essential. This piece introduces you to the mental health issues common in older adults and the best ways to alleviate them.
Common Senior Mental Health Problems and Their Causes
Older adults are predisposed to the following common mental health issues:
Although older adults feel down every once in a while, if it carries on for weeks, depression is imminent. Depression is a mood disorder that negatively impacts how seniors think, feel, and act. According to experts, some of the factors that increase the likelihood of depression in seniors include illnesses like cancer, caregiver stress, social isolation, and substance abuse.
Dementia refers to the decline in memory, decision-making, language, and other mental abilities, affecting many seniors. Individuals with this condition also portray depression, irritability, anxiety, personality, and behavior changes. Serious head injuries, diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, an extensive history of alcohol abuse, and the shrinking of specific brain parts are the common causes of Dementia.
3. Anxiety disorders
One of the most common anxiety disorders in older adults is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Other than GAD, seniors often struggle with panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and phobias. These conditions can be triggered by financial insecurity, chronic pain and illnesses, grief and loss, isolation, and loss of independence.
Ways to Improve Senior Mental Health
The good news is, adult mental health issues are treatable. Some of the best solutions for these conditions include:
1. Fostering connections
Most senior health problems are brought about by isolation. Therefore, preventing them starts with helping seniors connect with others. Friends and family can help to this end by visiting whenever they can and staying in touch via email and phone frequently. Moreover, if a senior relative shows signs of loneliness, suggest signing up for a class or picking up a new hobby. Better yet, encourage them to join communities like assisted living where they can meet other aged folks.
2. Physical activities
Physical activities such as yoga, leisure strolls, and martial arts go a long way in augmenting older adults' confidence, strength, and stability. That is why they need different exercises, including low-impact exercises, to avoid typical problems like joint pain and bone fractures associated with aging. Moreover, physical activities help seniors manage mental conditions like anxiety and stress.
For more information on adult mental health care, contact a company like RPS Care.